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Australian Wildlife

  Dugong (Dugong Dugon)





Dugong | Dugong Dugon photo
Dugong in captivity at Sea World, Gold Coast, Australia. This one was rescued as a calf.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.



DUGONG FACTS

Description
The Dugong looks a bit like a blunt nosed whale. It has no hind legs and swims with horizontal tail fluke. The body is grey. The only hair is some bristles near the mouth.

Other Names
Sea Cow

Size
3m long. Weighs up to 420kg

Habitat
calm sheltered waters in bays, channels, sheltered side of islands. They surface only to breathe, and never come on to land.

Food
sea grasses. These plants look like grass growing on the sea floor and are found on sandy bottom in shallow, warm water.

Breeding
single calf born after gestation of 12 months. The calf stays with its mother until fully weaned at 1-2 years old.

Range
coastal tropical and sub-tropical waters around Australia

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Proboscidea
Family:Dugongidae
Genus:Dugong
Species:Dugon
Common Name:Dugong